Trying to find the right home as a first-time buyer can be a daunting and, oftentimes, scary process. It’s important that new and first-time buyers be properly prepared for the journey ahead. If you’re looking to purchase your first home then here’s what you need to know.
Know Your Finances
Most advisors suggest that buyers should start looking at their finances a few months before entering the marketplace. Sit down to review your finances and determine a budget. Figure out what’s within your budget, as well as what is unrealistic for you at this point. This could help save you a lot of head and heartache down the road.
You’ll also want to meet with lenders to see if you can get pre-approved for a loan. Typically people with good credit can get pre-approved for four to five times their annual income.
You’ll also want to put aside money to be used for a down payment and to cover any additional or hidden costs. Putting down more money as a down payment can help reduce interest rates and it will lower your monthly payment. It could also help eliminate the need for certain insurance costs, so speak with your lender about these options.
Find a Trusted Agent
One of the most important things you can do in trying to find the right home is to first find the right agent to represent you. This is especially important for first-time buyers who opt to do it all on their own in order to save a few dollars, because if cost is the only thing holding you back then you’ll be glad to hear that buyers don’t pay their agents.
As a buyer, your agent’s commission is paid by the seller, so you really have everything to gain by recruiting an agent to work on your behalf. However, that’s only if the agent you find is a knowledgeable and trustworthy expert who is committed to act in your best interest.
Take the time to properly vet potential agents. Ask about their experience in real estate, ask about their ideal clients and their desire to work with you specifically, and certainly ask to see client testimonials.
Remember, agents that have your best interest in mind will not only negotiate the best deal for you, but they will be upfront and helpful with every step leading up to the negotiation. For example, good agents will not only share the pros of each home you like, but they’ll be willing to also offer the cons to help you make an informed decision. This includes doing the research on the local neighbourhood and tracking the history of the community that could contribute significant factors to the overall sale.
If you’re searching Ottawa homes for sale then working with the right agent could make all the difference in finding and buying your dream home.
Consider Helpful Options
Some Canadian banks are even offering a program that allows a parent to become a guarantor for new buyer’s mortgages. While the parent will share responsibility, it’s unlike having a co-signer, meaning the parent’s name will not be on the property. This program is extremely helpful to younger first-time buyers.
Keep these tips in mind as you begin the shopping process and hopefully you’ll find the home of your dreams in Ottawa.